Drug Jar (albarello) Italy, probably Pesaro ca. 1480 Earthenware, tin glazed (maiolica)
Pharmacies were great patrons of maiolica potteries from the early fifteenth century onward. Usually housed in monastic hospitals or royal residences, pharmacies often commissioned large sets of matching jars which were displayed in rows on shelves around the walls. Each jar was marked with the name of the drug it contained. Spouted jars were used to store and dispense liquid medicine. Early examples were closed by tying parchment over the top.